Portable vaporizers have become the clear favourite of vape users globally, with vaporisation starting off with desktop units with hoses or balloons it was clear that vaping was the next big thing. But only once the heavy hitting portables such as the Storz & Bickel Mighty was released, true no compromise portable vaping was then possible. As the technology advanced, the devices shrunk; with design becoming a bigger and bigger part of a vapes appeal. Vapes such as the original Arizer Solo, Pax Labs Pax & firefly really led this revolution, compromises in vapor where minor but the devices became objects that where no bigger than a cola can, something which was truly portable.
But of course, portability and size are a requirement specific to the individual vaporizer user. For example, portable vaporizers like the mighty have never needed a version 2 for a reason, this is a larger portable but still small enough to fit in a small bag, it can keep large session going with its chamber large enough for a large group, and a battery to power it the whole time without the need for additional charging. However, it would look stupid if you tried to slip it in your jeans pocket, as it’s just too big for that.
Smaller vapes such as the Arizer Argo or DaVinci IQ are tiny and great for you and maybe one or two friends in a session. However, you’ll be reaching for that charger more regularly and reloading that chamber more, if you want to keep it fired up for a whole evening. But these vapes enable something which the mighty cannot, these vapes are smaller than most smartphones these days, and are something you can actually slip in your pocket a pull out discretely with people around you being unaware that your packing a vaporizer. The category of portable vaporizers is a large and vague one, covering everything from vape pens, vapes smaller than a deck of cards, to something the size of tall beer can. Additionally, vaporizers also are compatible with different materials, with the most common being dry herb, followed by concentrates and very rarely e-liquids as well.
To help you understand some of the different terms used we are going to cover the most important terms used for vapes, and outline many of the features many product descriptions will mention, hopefully helping your decision on the right portable vape for you easier.
Convection heating, conduction heating and hybrid heating
Thesedevices generally are a bit larger as they use a process which by they heat the air which then is passed over the vaping materials to vaporize them. Benefits of this type of vape are that you can generally put as much material in the heating chamber as you want (as long as there is still good airflow through). Furthermore, if you make sure you don’t pack it too tight you rarely have need to stir the materials to ensure its all vaped to its fullest. These vapes tend to take 30-60 seconds to heat up. This is the method used by popular vaporizers like the fury 2, Arizer Solo 2 and the Storz and Bickel Volcano vaporizer
These vapes use contact through the walls of the heating camber to heat the materials, this means that you have to fill the chamber full and fill it quite tight to ensure the material gets heated fully, or you may need to stir the material slightly. This method is a lot more compact and generally chambers are smaller to ensure more even heating of the material and also to ensure one person can load the vape for just themselves without wasting vaping materials. However, many of these vapes like the Pax come with half pack oven lids, enabling smaller sessions. These vapes can heat up very quick with portable vaporizers like the Firefly having 2 buttons which makes it heat on demand meaning little to no heat up time normally no more than 20 seconds. These include popular compact vapes such as the Pax 3, the Firefly and DaVinci IQ.
This is something which is more common in newer vapes, and this is a combination of both convection and conduction heating methods. This enables the best of both worlds with regards to larger chambers and faster heat up times. However, these tend to be bulkier than conduction only vapes. These include popular vaporizers such as the Storz and Bickel Mighty Vaporizer, Healthy Rips fury 2 and the boundless CF, CFX & CFV.
All these heating methods generally produce reliable good vapor when correctly filled. But I have found for new vape users, a convection or hybrid vaporizer is the best option, due to their simplicity to use. They may be slightly bigger, but they still fit in a bag or coat pocket without an issue. And the added benefits normally include larger chamber and better battery life.
Common additional features on portable vaporizers
Some features which don’t come on all vaporizers, but we find most vape users love if they can afford them are:
- Digital display - These are great you don’t need to memorize colours which represent temperatures or your battery level.
- Haptic feedback – This is a fancy name for ‘it can vibrate’, most beginners to vaping think this is quite excessive. But when you are deep into a session sometimes the little vibration in your hand to tell you its heated up is a handy reminder, when you might be otherwise distracted.
- Water pipe adapter – this is an attachment which a lot of newer vapes provide in the box. This neat little piece of glass lets you attach a vape to a bong! Why? Well vapor can be quite hot on the throat and you have to inhale vapor quite slow normally to prevent coughing. However, with this you can use a bong full of water to cool the vapor letting you take massive hits and really get the vapor flowing and make fat clouds.
- Bubbler – This is a lot more niche of a tool, this is essentially a mini bong + water adaptor in one, allowing you to rip massive clouds of vapor from your portable vaporizer, in a manner which means it’s still quite portable.
- Glass Vapor path – some vape connoisseurs find they can taste the metal or plastics used in the vapor paths if they use them, so more premium vapes tend to include these to ensure you can get the cleanest taste from your material as possible. Additionally, from experience we have found glass vapor path devices like the all the Arizer vaporizers tend to be easier to clean, due to the nature of their design.
- High precision Digital controls – cheaper portable vaporizers tend to offer 10-degree intervals which works totally in functionality. But with degree by degree precision you can find that perfect temp where you can get the most out of your material and pull the biggest clouds without a single cough.
These generally come in vaporizer in the mid to high price range, but with compromises in other areas you can get them at a lower price range.
- Concentrate pads/cans - These little pieces which you place in your vapes chamber let you also use concentrate in the vaporizer instead of just dry herb. For pads you just drip a small drop of the concentrate in the middle and place it in the middle. Cans ar similar but you just place the oil inside
There are more novel innovative ideas which you can get with vaporizers, such as multiple chambers found in the Haze Square, allowing you to have up to 4 big chambers loaded and ready to go letting you minimise what you need to carry when you want to vape on the go with a group of friends. Other convenient features to look out for include: USB C charging, standard replaceable batteries & carry cases.
We hope this guide helps you understand the features you will find while browsing our store. And help you make the right decision for what you need!